September 26, 2013 - Zenith Aircraft's 22nd annual Open Hangar Day last weekend drew nearly 400 people to the company's Mexico, Missouri, kit manufacturing facility. About 25 Zeniths flew in for the event, with the owners joining current builders for a series of seminars, demonstrations, and workshops.
"This is our once-a-year day for renewing old friendships, meeting new builders, and celebrating the freedom to be able to build our own airplanes," said Sebastien Heintz, Zenith president. "Some people are quite startled to discover that building an aircraft can be so enjoyable and rewarding. When they look at the completed aircraft out on the flightline and talk to people who built those airplanes, they develop a new appreciation for the sense of achievement that comes with flying an aircraft you built with your own hands...and maybe a little help from some others."
EAA Homebuilt Community Manager Charlie Becker spoke Friday about how EAA can help builders, owners, and pilots of amateur-built aircraft. He also discussed a special project slated for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, where visitors will build a Zenith CH 750 in seven days.
Along with demo flights and buddy rides throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, more than 200 people attended the Friday night banquet. Visitors Saturday included a local Boy Scout troop whose members earned their aviation merit badges by attending.